Stephen King has appeared in cameo roles in lots of movie adaptations of his own books.
One of his most unexpected screen appearances, however, was in the highly popular biker TV show, sons of Anarchy.
Stephen King made cameo appearances in Thinner, Pet Sematary, and Creepshow, to mention but three of his own films that he has been in, and he was also a guest star in George A. Romero's Knightriders, all of which makes perfect sense, but just why did Stephen King agree to appear in Sons of Anarchy?
Just in case you are not familiar with Sons of Anarchy, the hit TV show ran from 2008 to 2104 and it was about an outlaw motorcycle club based in the fictional town of Charming, California.
The fictional depiction of life in a One Percenter outlaw motorcycle club may have been exaggerated for dramatic effect, but the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club was said to have resembled, to a certain degree, the lifestyle of the real Hells Angels.
In fact, real life Hells Angel David Labrava acted as an adviser to show and played the part of Happy Lowman, one of the shows main Characters. A number of Hells Angels members also appeared in the show at various points in time, including Rusty Coones, founder and former President of the Hells Angels Orange County chapter, Chuck Zito, former president of the New York chapter of the Hells Angels, and Sonny Barger, a founding member of the Oakland, California Hells Angels chapter.
Stephen King appeared in “Caregiver”, which was episode 3, season 3 of Sons of Anarchy. His character is called “Bachman”, the same name that Stephen King used as his pseudonym for a number of novels that he wrote under the name of Richard Bachman when he wanted to test whether people bought his books simply because they were Stephen King books, or because his books were really good.
Bachman is described in the show’s publicity as a man who is "highly skilled in an unusual profession". His job in this episode of SOA is to dispose of the body of one of the characters’ live-in caretaker. Bachman achieves this in a slop sink in the basement of the house using household items to get rid of the evidence while listening to 80s music.
Stephen King actually looks pretty cool in Sons of Anarchy. He rides up on a red Harley, looking like he rarely gets out in the sun. He plays the part well; just like you might imagine a man might be whose job it is to make bodies disappear. He’s detached, calculating, and very, very creepy.
Here’s a video clip of Stephen King in Sons of Anarchy:
So, why did Stephen King agree to appear in Sons of Anarchy?
The truth is that Stephen King loves acting, although he readily admits that he is far from being the best actor the world has ever known.
Stephen King had written some positives comments about Sons of Anarchy in Entertainment Weekly and he had said that he liked the show in an interview for the FX channel. In return, the show’s creator Kurt Sutter got in touch with King and told him that he’d like him to appear in the show.
Stephen King says that, normally, he would turn down such an offer, but Sutter told him that he would get ride a “kick-ass Harley”. As luck would have it, Stephen King found himself in Los Angeles, where Sons of Anarchy was being filmed, to accept a literary award. Kurt Sutter offered King a “suitably nasty part” and a “bitchin Harley” to ride, and that’s how Stephen King ended up playing a part in Sons of Anarchy.